Grigs’ Treasure

It was a warm summer day in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Grigs was out in the field by the old jetty, sitting in his favorite chair. He was meditating but not really–in a zen-like state he was soaking in the season for its worth, savoring the short summer for while it would last. Grigs leaned back into his chair, and he pulled out a cigarette of his own favorite brand–the last cig in the pack. “The last cigarette, my legs begin stretching before even my lungs,” Grigs thought as he tossed the fag into his mouth which was lit by a match struck on his stubble.

Raymond Grigs, sitting in his favorite chair. Dutch Harbor, Alaska. 1984.

Grigs had not sucked but even two puffs when he was interrupted by a violent vibration from beneath his chair. It was his cell phone. His DynaTac 8000X. Grigs had spent nearly 5,000 dollars to purchase his DynaTac 8000X–the first model of cellphone ever to be offered commercially. Grigs had owned a DynaTac 8000X because Grigs had needed it; in Grigs’ line of work there was no getting around this, the technology had given his competition far too enticing an advantage for him to continue on without one. Grigs was an old dog in a young dog’s game; he had needed to catch up and so this he did. Grigs sighed, “Damn vibrator from Hell,” he muttered, under his breath as he lifted the enormous telephone from off the ground, and struggled with its operation. “Goddamnit,” Grigs muttered, “Yeah, it’s Griggs, what do you need,” Grigs said into the DynaTac 8000x.

“Hey, old man,” said the voice from the other end.

Grigs had almost dropped his Dynatac 8000X, “No—No, It can’t be—you’re—you’re dead,” Griggs said, speaking in short, sputtering fragments. But Grigs was wrong, this man was most certainly not dead, far from it was this man dead; this man was alive and was living well. This man’s name was Martin. Martin Spanner.

Martin Spanner. On the Alaska South Central. Coming for Grigs. 1984.

“Shut up, old man, you couldn’t kill me not even on my worst day,” Martin Spanner said to Grigs. Grigs grumbled, “Grrrr,” and was clenching his teeth. Martin Spanner laughed, “Listen up you old baboon—I got an interception of your little delivery—the one you had sent to Sand Point.”

Grigs froze. “What—what uh, what are you talking about,” Grigs said, asking, and with the skill of a poor actor at that.

“Don’t play dumb with me, Grigs. I know all about your little treasure,” Martin Spanner said, with an evil laugh. To this Grigs erupted, “You listen to me you tiny little twat, I will fucking destroy you if you go anywhere near Sand Point,” Grigs barked, “You hear me, Spanner—do you hear me,” Grigs yelled demanding.

Martin Spanner laughed, “Oh, I hear you—it’s kind of hard, though, on the highway, on my DynaTac, on my motorcycle, but yeah, I hear you,” he said, then added, “Oh and by the way, I’m heading over to your treasure right now, actually—I’m gonna take it Grigs—Yeah, I am, and if you do happen to cross my path before I get there, I will shoot you dead on the spot,” Martin Spanner said, and hanged up his DynaTac 800x.

Grigs’ DynaTac 8000 dropped from his hands. It had hit the ground and broke apart a rock into several pieces of rubble. Grigs was breathing extraordinarily heavy. He had felt a pain in his chest and so he threw his hand for his heart. He fell down to his knees. He threw his head up at the sky. He closed his eyes. He opened his mouth full wide, “FUCK,” he’d shouted, with all of his might. The ground nearly shook. Animals had turned their heads. Birds, skedaddled from the trees.

Grigs, scoping out the environment, looking for Martin Spanner, and preparing for his race to Sand Point. 1984

If Grigs was to save his treasure he’d needed to act, and he’d needed to act fast, and so this he did. Grigs was without a car but so, in the spirit of ingenuity he’d constructed a raft and hit to the waterways. Grigs had figured, that he could risk with the dangers of the level five rapids of the Yookinoova River’s white water stretches and that, should he do so he’d have a fair chance at winnig the race against Martin Spanner despite the speed advantage of his motorcycle.

Raymond Grigs just moments after throwing his handmade raft into the Yookinoova River. 1984

As Grigs’ raft encroached upon the final placid stretch of the Yookinoova (roughly one mile before the whitewater rapids,) he crossed paths with Martin Spanner. Though this encounter was but brief, both men had seen the other–this was just as where the river bends alongside the Alaska South Central–there, Martin Spanner had spotted Grigs paddling in the river below the highway. But Martin Spanner did not stop there though, he had kept on with riding without even a pause and only but flicked Grigs off whilst passing him by.

Martin Spanner passing Grigs on the Alaska South Central. 1984

“Thought you’d said you’d shoot, you little bitch,” Griggs shouted in vain at the increasingly decreasing black dot in the distance which was Martin Spanner.

In short time thereafter, Grigs was officially in white water. “Fuck the world,” Grigs shouted at the violent rapids, as they swept him through the river like a leaf coursing into a storm drain.

Grigs, exhausted and spent, post rapids. 1984

After passing the rapids, Grigs received another phone call on his DynaTac 8000X. “Yeah, it’s Grigs, what do you want.” It was Martin Spanner, “Hey buddy, it’s me, just checking in on you — I saw you heading for the rapids, you clever old dog, so I had take some precautionary measures — I phoned an old friend of mine — you’ll see him soon enough,” he said, then hanged up. Grigs roared with laughter, “HA- Spanner is scared, as he should be- HA,” Grigs said to himself, and kept paddling as if nothing had happened.

Domena, aka Martin Spanner’s mystery man. En route for Grigs. 1984.

Grigs was near the seaway when he sensed that Domena might be somewhere nearby waiting. “Fuck, I got a feeling,” Grigs said to himself, “I’d better take a detour,” he decided.

Grigs detours into Omen’s Cave. 1984

Grigs entered a rocky cave by the seaway. To his astonishment, Domena was there inside it. Domena was awaiting Grigs’ arrival. “Grigs, Grigs, Grigs, I knew you’d come in here,” he said. Domena was sitting on a boulder, with a .44 Magnum revolver pointed strait at Grigs’ face. “Domena — what — No — I thought — I thought you were dead,” Grigs said, in short, sputtering bursts. “Do I look dead, Grigs,” Domena said, asking rhetorically. Grigs didn’t answer– “A dirty hairy,” he said, commenting. Domena nodded. “How much is he paying you,” Grigs said, asking. Domena stepped off the boulder, “Two large,” he said– after some moment of hesitation. “Fair enough, I’d kill you for two large,” Grigs said. Domena smiled, and raised his revolver. “He tell you about the treasure,” Grigs said, asking. Domena’s smile widened, “Nice try,” he said, “You’re a goofy motherfucker, Grigs– shame to kill you,” he added, and cocked the revolver. Grigs nodded, “Before you kill me– could I trouble you for a cigarette,” he asked. Domena lowered his weapon. “Of course you may,” he said, “What kind of man you take me for, Grigs?”

Martin Spanner phones Domena– “checking in.” 1984

“Hey, did you do it– is Grigs floating somewhere, or is Grigs floating somewhere,” Martin Spanner said, speaking into his DynaTac, asking Domena. “Sorry, Spanner, but Grigs offered me something I couldn’t refuse,” Domena said, “And if were you, Spanner, I’d hurry it the fuck up– Grigs is almost there,” he added, and hanged up. Martin Spanner cursed at the sky, “FUCK,” he screamed, and threw his DynaTac into the air behind him. The phone crashed back to earth like a meteorite and burned a large crater into the asphalt.

Martin Spanner speeding down the Sand Point Tunnel. 1984.

Martin Spanner had knew it then that the race was over, but he refused to accept it. Domena was a pilot, after all, and Martin Spanner knew this. Martin Spanner could put two and two together, just fine, but refused to believe in its obvious conclusion. He kicked his bike up faster, weaving through the traffic in the underwater tunnel. He attempted sneaking past two semis that were side-by-side on its double lane road. Rest in Peace, Martin Spanner.

Raymond Grigs, with his treasure: three burlap sacks of his favorite cigarette. Sand Point, 1984

“Two bags for me, one bag for Domena,” Raymond Grigs said to himself, and kissed the sandy Earth beneath him.

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